Beautiful Roman Daggers
I've collected virtual Roman military daggers, pugii (the singular is pugio), for some time now whenever a museum allowed taking pictures. Here are some pretty ones found in Germany, dating from Augustean and Tiberian times.
For some reason, daggers are more frequently found than swords of the short gladius or the longer spatha type (though some gladius fragments have been found in Hedemünden). Maybe those have been recycled more often.
Legionary dagger, Hedemünden
The iron pugio
was found in Hedemünden main camp
(camp 1), and cleaned and conserved by the company of H. Biebler in Mühlhausen / Thuringia. What you find isn't such a shiny item, but some caked mix of metal, rust and dirt. It takes lot of experience to see there's something cool hiding in such a lump.
The photo was taken at the exhibition of the Hedemünden finds in Hannoversch-Münden, 2009.Roman dagger, Oberammergau / Bavaria
This one is from the Imperium
Exhibition in the Seelandhalle, Haltern
. The notched exemplar to the left is an original found in Bavaria; the right side one a reconstruction. The dagger has a burr along the middle of the blade; the handle was fixed to the blade with five iron rivets. The weapon dates between 15 BC and the first half of the first century AD (a loan from the Landesmuseum Munich). The item in the background that looks like the Roman version of a computer mouse is a catapult bolt with a bent pin that would have fixed it to the short wooden shaft.Decorated pugio, found near the Hedemünden camp
The second Hedemünden dagger
, found on the way between the main camp and the recently discovered smaller camp on the Kring hill. The find is interesting because it had been carefully deposited under a stone, and not simply lost. It may have been a sacrifice. (Displayed in the Imperium
Exhibition 2009, together with some sandal nails.)
is damasced, with a middle burr and fullers running along both sides of it. The handle is layered. Around the iron nucleus - a continuation of the blade - there's a layer of bone and another iron one, held together with wire and rivets of non-ferrous metal. The iron-sheeted pommel has a wooden nucleus. A rather elaborately made and pretty weapon.Decorated pugio, LWL Museum, Haltern
A local find from the Lippe river where the Romans had several forts and camps until the Varus disaster (and maybe even longer, as is now discussed). This pugio
has a decorative pattern of silver and brass wire. Another beautiful weapon that may have been the possession of an officer, a centurion maybe. The higher ranking officers probably had even more expensive ones.